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Young Lawyers Column: Tips from the Trenches: Anecdotes for Young Practitioners

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Nevada Lawyer Magazine
“My father the Eagle Scout told me to always ‘Be Prepared.’ ”
Young Lawyers
BY RYAN J. WORKS, Young Lawyers Chair
The Misdirected E-mail
If you are anything like me, you primarily communicate with clients, counsel and others via electronic mail. I sometimes send or reply to hundreds of e-mails in a day. In the neverending quest to clean my inbox of all messages, I sometimes get in a hurry. Nevertheless, I am always checking, double-checking and then checking again, the “To…”, “Cc…” and “Bcc…” lines in the e-mail to ensure proper delivery. Unfortunately for the defendant on the opposing side of one of my recent cases, I received a misdirected e-mail from a cohort (unrepresented and a non-party) of the defendant who gave us a roadmap of the defendant’s fraud being perpetrated on my client. The e-mail explained that they needed to “…work fast to fix the quickbooks” while getting “…that computer drive wiped and reloaded.” Although we longsuspected the fraudulent conduct, this e-mail put a quick end to a long and hard-fought battle when presented to the court. Although quite obvious, always take a second and final glance at the recipients named in your e-mails. A misdirected e-mail can be embarrassing and devastating. by. Often overlooked, however, are the pesky local rules. I recall an episode when a young lawyer failed to inform his more-seasoned lead counsel of a “meet and confer” requirement prior to filing a discovery motion in front of a local judge. When the judge called the case, the first question was, “Did counsel meet and confer, as is required by the local rule, to attempt resolving this issue prior to filing the motion?” You could have heard a pin drop in the courtroom as the judge proceeded to scold the lawyers for failing to abide by the local rules. To avoid the same fate, always remember to consult the local rules of practice and procedure.
Always Be Prepared
Consult the Local Rules
Applying the right law and knowing the rules of procedure are important practice points to live 48 Nevada Lawyer March 2011
My father the Eagle Scout told me to always “Be Prepared.” One early Monday morning, as a new lawyer, I was working away in my office when I received an urgent e-mail from our Los Angeles co-counsel on a big case we were handling. It was an e-mail that was forwarded to “All Attorneys” asking if anyone had an extra pair of cuff links our Los Angeles counsel could borrow. Our out-of-state counsel had packed a French cuff shirt, but forgot a set of cuff links. Although I wasn’t wearing a French cuff shirt, as luck would have it, I happened to have a pair of cuff links in my desk drawer from a shirt I had recently purchased, adorned with the name of the shirt-maker.
Delighted that I could be of assistance, I went to the conference room and eagerly handed the gentlemen the shiny cuff links. He connected his cuffs, thanked me profusely, and hurried along to the hearing he had scheduled that morning. From the hearing, the gentleman apparently went straight to the airport, where he boarded his plane and returned to Los Angles. I didn’t get my cuff links back that day, but I wasn’t bothered as they had come with the shirt and weren’t at all extraordinary. Several weeks later, I received a strange e-mail from our office manager, asking “All Attorneys” if anyone knew of a “Ted Baker” as there was a package up front for him. Amused, I claimed the package, opened it, and read the handwritten note attached to my cuff links: “Dear Mr. Baker, thank you for the use of your links. Best...” In short, always keep an extra set of cuff links in your desk drawer.
RYAN J. WORKS is chairman of the Young Lawyers Section and an attorney with McDonald Carano Wilson LLP .
March 2011
Nevada Lawyer
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